Golf: Parnevik admits his Open blunder: Scoreboard lapse cost Swede victory at Turnberry

Click to follow
The Independent Online
LOOKING at things in retrospect, something which the Swedes are particularly good at, Jesper Parnevik has admitted here that he made a serious error of judgement when he chose to ignore intelligence reports during the climax to the Open at Turnberry.

Before Nick Price eagled the 17th in the final round, Parnevik, playing the 18th, held a two-stroke lead but treated the scoreboards as Dracula would treat the sight of a cross. He refused to look. 'I didn't want to know the score, but I should have known before hitting my second shot at the 18th,' Parnevik said yesterday.

Parnevik, with five birdies over the back nine, got to 12 under par for the championship and was, he claimed, hell- bent on getting to 13 under. He hit a driver at the last into light rough before finally electing to play a wedge to the flag. After missing the green he dropped a stroke with a bogey five and this, allied to Price's three at the par-five 17th, resulted in a three-stroke swing. Price, needing only a par at the 18th to win by a stroke, played the hole with a three-iron off the tee followed by a seven-iron.

'I should have played for the heart of the green instead of the pin,' Parnevik said. 'I should have aimed to get par and that would have put pressure on Price. If I was playing it again I'd hit an iron off the tee. I had heard a lot of roars and thought everyone or at least someone was leading me. I thought I was doing the chasing not the leading. It's been a lesson. There are not that many times you have that sort of chance.'

If it is clear that Parnevik did not have his thinking cap on at Turnberry, other players have different interpretations on what happened. 'Parnevik did a marvellous job and I have no criticism of him whatsoever,' Colin Montgomerie said. 'He didn't lose it, Nick Price won it. Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer say they don't look at the scoreboard, but I can't believe there is anyone who doesn't have a little glance. I would rather know what I've got to do.'

Ian Woosnam, who watched the final rounds at home on television after missing the half-way cut, took a different view. 'If he didn't look at the board it was a mistake,' Woosnam said. 'It was very obvious that he should have been knocking his second shot on to the middle of the green. He didn't have to be clever. He'll look at the board next time.' There is another school of thought which says that Parnevik was, in fact, trying to make par at the last and, because of the pressure, simply pulled his approach shot.

This morning Parnevik partners Woosnam and Peter Baker, the defending champion, in the Scandinavian Masters at the Drottningholms course here. 'I'm already over it,' Parnevik said of the Open. He is certainly relaxed. When asked what he was doing next week it took him a while to remember that he was getting married. In a challenge match on Tuesday, which Sweden lost 21 2 -1 2 , Parnevik shot 74 to Montgomerie's 65. Langer defeated Joakim Haeggman 65-71 and Woosnam halved with Anders Forsbrand, both scoring 68.

No Swede has won the Scandinavian Masters but this week there are 30 teeing it up in a field surprisingly short of big guns considering prize money of pounds 650,000, one of the richest purses on Tour. The winner receives pounds 108,330, which is only pounds 1,670 less than Price received for winning the Open.

Faldo and others clearly do not believe that a week in Stockholm is the ideal preparation for the US PGA Championship in Tulsa in two weeks time, but conditions here are not dissimilar to those in Oklahoma. There has been barely a drop of rain for a month and they are praying for it. The course needs 90,000 gallons of water a day and it was being pumped from a lake at the nearby palace of King Carl Gustaf. However, the pumps have seized up and the fire brigade has been called in to help water the course.

DAVID FISHER, the holder, found a touch of tonsillitis and 19-year-old Anthony Wall too much to overcome in the English Amateur Championship at Moortown yesterday. 'I can't wait to see a doctor,' said Fisher after being beaten 2 and 1 by the Sunningdale teenager.

Comments